I wrote last week here at 19ForyFive that the GOP simply drop the Hunter Biden probe. It’s a waste of time and resources. The American people deserve that the attention of their elected officials be focused elsewhere, say foreign policy, inflation reduction, or healthcare. The nuances of Hunter Biden’s work life and drug habits don’t seem to be of particular import to the lives of ordinary Americans.
Now, pushback against a prospect probe is starting to emerge.
Apparently, moderate Republicans – especially those elected in districts that Biden won – are wary of aggressive probes against the Biden administration and/or family. Moderates seem to recognize that their constituents don’t care about Hunter Biden. Instead, they care about the economy – which is what moderate Republicans elected in Biden-territory were typically elected to address.
Accordingly, they want to maintain focus on economic issues; they want their press conferences and press interviews to be about economic issues; they want their legislative activity to be geared towards economic remedies.
They appreciate that if the House becomes embroiled in probes, then all their press conferences and press interviews, and legislative activity is going to be allocated to Hunter Biden’s laptop, artwork, and stock portfolio. Moderates appreciate that such a diversion would be bad politics – as they were not elected to sort through Hunter Biden’s laptop, artwork, or stock portfolio.
“It echoes the dynamic among House Democrats after they won the majority in 2019,” POLITICO reported, “where Pelosi spent months trying to pump the brakes on the left’s push for investigations and impeachment [of Trump].”
Relatedly, public sentiment cuts against launching a Hunter Biden probe. A POLITCO/Morning Consult poll discovered that fewer “than 3 in 10 voters said Congress should focus on a presidential impeachment investigation…or the son’s politically uncomfortable business dealings – though there is zeal among over half of the GOP electorate for such probes.”
So, in ruby red states, launching a Hunter Biden probe may pay political dividends. But in the states with thinner political margins, the swing states like Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania that decide presidential elections and Senate majorities, launching a Hunter Biden probe could be politically unwise; in swing states, where a wider range of the political spectrum is politically relevant, launching a probe that only 3 in 10 Americans favor would likely irritate about 7 in 10 constituents.
Anecdotal evidence backs up the polling, too. Engagious, a market research firm, recently conducted a focus group using Georgia voters who voted for Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020. Engagious’s president, Rich Thau, said that “in what should be a massive red flag to Kevin McCarthy and his leadership team, none of the respondents think it’s necessary to investigate Hunter Biden.” While Thau is drawing from a small sample size, the finding could be indicative of larger trends. Some of the focus group participants relayed sentiments that seems indicative of the greater finding: if it wasn’t Biden’s son, I don’t think anybody would give a damn” … “There’s so many more issues to focus on” … ‘We have more pressing issues at hand.” We certainly do.
The GOP should drop any notion of going after Hunter Biden. If not for the fact that it would be the civil thing to do, then because it would be the politically wise thing to do. Americans are growing fatigued of a Congress that pursues tangent after tangent while everyday problems mount. One of the parties will need to break the cycle of vindictive pettiness that now seems to dominate the political agenda.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.